Wednesday, February 22, 2006

But how do you really feel, Henry?

Call it nostalgia for my old hometown, but I've always had a soft spot for Henry Rollins (he's a DC boy, dontcha know). Conor sent me a story about Rollins getting reported to the Australian government for reading Jihad on a flight. It seems the man sitting next to him called a National Security hotline and reported Rollins as a potential terrorist threat. Rollins' journal entry about it is pretty funny. First of all, the government woman who wrote him was oddly wry about it:
I hope this finds you before you leave Australia as I think its something that won't surprise you but might give you a smile when you are sitting in a hotel room. I work in one of those Government areas that deals with anti terrorism matters. A fine service is provided but unfortunately we get to read a lot of things submitted by lunatics. The Australian Government set up the National Security Hotline to report terrorists.

The person who sat next to you on the flight from New Zealand does not agree with your politics or choice of reading and so nominated you as a possible threat. As they were too cowardly or stupid to leave their details I can'’t call them to discuss their idiocy with them.
Can you fathom getting such a letter in the US. And then there's Rollins' response to her:

I was reading a book called Jihad by Ahmed Rashid which is a history of Central Asia. I didn't speak to the man next to me past how do you do. I think Ahmed Rashid is published by Yale University Press. Bush's alma mater. Please tell your government and everyone in your office to go fuck themselves. Tell them twice. If your boss is looking for something to do, you can tell him I suggest he go fuck himself. Baghdad's safer than my hometown and your PM is a sissy. You have a nice night.
I mean, I would say, "Henry, lighten up," but then, he wouldn't be Henry Rollins would he?

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